Friday, June 27, 2008

Look Up, Look Down

Ants in the nearby park.

There are a lot of people, especially in Toronto1, that go places in automatic mode. That's to say they don't look up, down or around at things. They're in zombie mode from start point A to destination point B. I thought at first that it was a big city thing. Don't make eye contact, you might actually have to talk to someone.

That idea went away when I travelled to London, UK. People there seemed to look around making eye contact. Perhaps it was just me, as a tourist you tend to look around more. Kind of like a child seeing the world for the first time. After a while things start to look the same, maybe even repetitive and maybe even not interesting anymore. Perhaps the reason we don't look around anymore is because we expect to see the same stuff. Our brain thinks "yeah, it's that building again" and get we get lazy, we don't look up. Then the odd day does come and the ice cream store that used to be that building has been torn down and now condos have taken it's place. Then we say "When did that happen?" or "How long has that condo been there?".

Another example of this is watching kids on the moving subway look out the front car onto the tracks zooming toward them. It seems they can look for hours. Meanwhile the adult sitting next to them is sleeping through the trip. The adult doesn't see the extra service holes, exits to the street. It all seems like the same concrete passing by.

As a photographer shooting for a while this can be quite demanding. What do you shoot if you've shot it all before? I've even talked to photographers that don't want to shoot _____ anymore because it's all been done (by someone else even). Kind of sad really. I suppose the trick is to find that angle you haven't shot yet. It might be the same pose but a different person, or the same neighborhood, another sports game, or another similar event.

So today with not much to do I wandered around the neighbourhood to see what interesting photos I could find. Forcing myself to look at the familiar and trying to find a different way of capturing the moment. There were two things I noticed right off the bat. A bunch of ants swarming around on some pavement and a cat in the drive way.

The ants were in a large dense cluster that tapered off in a 30cm radius. I wondered if someone had dropped something sweet (like pop or ice cream). At closer inspection you could see the queen ant nearby. What was going on there?

The cat in the drive way was Felix observing his world from the cellar window. I've taken a photo of him before but this time he had his paws out and not just his head. He had the same stunned look though.

Felix, the cat next door.

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